Name: the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) is a species of non-venomous snake found in Northern and Central Europe.
Appearance: smooth snakes are a brown, grey, or reddish colour with dark spots running down their backs. They are easily mistaken for adders although can be distinguished by their rounder heads, thinner bodies, and less striking markings.
Size: they grow to around 60 to 75 cm in length. The longest on record was in found in Russia and measured 92 cm.
Diet: smooth snakes feed on smaller animals, especially other reptiles such as sand lizards and slow worms.
Did you know: smooth snakes are constrictors – similar to the giant anacondas of the Amazon rainforest. When hunting they coil up around their prey to subdue it and often crush it to death. They are not venomous and are harmless to humans. When they feel threatened they can release a horrible smelling substance from their anal glands!
Location: smooth snakes are heathland specialists. They can be found from the south of England, through Europe, and across to Russia, Turkey, and even Iran.
Where to see smooth snakes
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see smooth snakes in the following places:
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Photo credit: WildSide team member Ash Welch